MacArthur gives $10 million to combat violence

Little Black Pearl Project, an arts group on the South Side, will receive $1 million over four years.

Little Black Pearl Project, an arts group on the South Side, will receive $1 million over four years.

In what it says is the first round of big grants designed to fight violence, MacArthur Foundation has awarded $10 million to area organizations. Community Capital Grants, a new initiative from the Chicago-based foundation, account for $6.9 million of the total. The foundation says the Community Capital Grants might be awarded annually, beginning in 2018, to Chicago groups that work to stem violence and racial inequity in the city.

The awards "represent our first investments in a new strategy to help make Chicago a more just place where neighborhoods are strong and residents thrive," said Tara Magner, Chicago commitment director at MacArthur Foundation, in this morning's release announcing the grants.

In addition, the foundation has awarded $2.6 million to direct-service organizations that interrupt violence at the street level, and work with potential shooters and victims. Metropolitan Family Services, Chicago, will receive $1.3 million; the other recipients have not yet been determined.

Chicago Foundation for Women will receive $1 million over four years from MacArthur Foundation.

Chicago Foundation for Women will receive $1 million over four years from MacArthur Foundation.

For the first batch of Community Capital Grants, five organizations will receive $1 million over four years. They are Chicago Foundation for Women, which advocates for equal opportunities for women and girls; Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, focused on business and job development in Pullman, Englewood and other South Side areas; Little Black Pearl Workshop, which supports arts, culture, and entrepreneurship education on the South Side; Mikva Challenge, which develops civically engaged leaders; and the Resurrection Project, which serves immigrant communities in Pilsen, Little Village and Back of the Yards.

Five organizations will receive smaller grants: $900,000 over four years for Cabrini Green Legal Aid, which helps ex-offenders and others who've had brushes with the criminal justice system; $220,000 over two years for racial-justice group Black Youth Project 100 Education Fund; $340,000 over four years for Latinos Progresando, which helps immigrants and community development in areas like Little Village; $380,000 over four years for South East Chicago Commission, which helps with economic development and community planning on the South Side; and $130,000 over two years for Sweet Water Foundation, which uses urban agriculture and project-based education to transform classrooms, vacant spaces and abandoned buildings on Chicago's South Side.

It's also given $100,000 to the Chicago Fund for Safe and Peaceful Communities, which MacArthur helped establish in 2016; and $300,000 to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to support the Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy, which works with law enforcement agencies, community partners and service organizations to identify people most likely to perpetrate or be a victim of a gun violence.